TITHING, GOD’S SHARE
by John Wootton
WHAT IS A TITHE?
Very few people consider tithing, neither what it is and what it means, nor do they actually tithe.
The tithe is the economic means by which God causes His work and will on earth to be accomplished.
Full time workers must receive a salary, rent and mortgages must be paid and electricity and gasoline must be purchased. Not to mention the endless list of supplies necessary to keep things working.
Failure to recognize and to honor tithing is the basis of much of our misery, poverty, poor health and separation from God.
Tithing is mentioned in the Bible many times beginning in Genesis when Abraham tithed a portion to Melchesideck, (1) the first priest mentioned in the Bible.
A tithe is a portion of the increase to our wealth. It is generally recognized that the amount is 10%. (2)
God expects us to give him of the ‘first fruits’, or ‘off the top’. (3)
He gave us His first fruits in that he gave us His Son for our salvation (4) (also, see ‘Salvation’ on this site).
God considers our tithe to belong to Him. It is not ours. If we fail to give our tithe to Him, we are stealing from Him. (5)
Not an offering
Tithing is not the same as an offering. A tithe is God’s money (or wealth, depending on what it consists of), an offering is a gift (or sacrifice) to God.
Tithes cannot have strings attached to them, if you control what the tithe is to be used for, it is not a tithe, but instead becomes an offering.
Does your employer tell you what you can do with your salary? No, that is YOUR money. Likewise, the tithe is God’s money.
WHY SHOULD WE TITHE?
ALL wealth belongs to God. He created everything. He also created us, and in so doing provided us with our strength, intelligence and abilities. We can do nothing without God having provided the vehicle for us to get there.
100% of what we manage to ‘earn’, ‘save’, or generate, is from God. He permits us to keep 90%, the remaining 10% belongs to Him.
Because we do not control what happens to the tithe after it leaves our possession, we should be comfortable with whom we give custody of God’s money.
If that person or entity misuses the tithe, that is between them and God. It is none of your business.
However, if you become aware that God’s money is being misused, then you have a responsibility to see that it goes to someone who will use it appropriately.
That is a catch 22 situation, we must be careful with that position, because we may not know what God wants that entity to use the money for.
The use would have to be blatantly dishonest or evil before we should take action. Generally speaking, most religious organizations have auditing oversight in place to assure that does not happen.
In most cases, unless you are a member of the church board, what tithes are spent for is none of your business.
WHO SHOULD WE GIVE OUR TITHES TO ?
Some people interpret the Bible as instructing us to give our tithe to the local church or "storehouse". (6)
We certainly have an obligation to support our local church, for the workman is worthy of his hire (7) and God expects us to provide the where-with-all for the staff of our local church to live in reasonable comfort. He also expects there to be sufficient funds to maintain the structure of the church. You get really upset if you go to church and find it too hot or too cold for comfort, or if the roof leaks when it is raining. Maintenance costs money.
Most people do not earn sufficient income to be concerned about what amount of their tithe goes to the local church, they should just give it all and quit worrying about it. However, perhaps there are some who have incomes in the range that might cause them to consider multiple recipients of their tithe. I would strongly caution anyone who feels that way to tread lightly and with great caution.
You should spend much time in prayer asking God’s guidance in such a matter. If He has blessed you with that kind of wealth, I hope, for your sake, He has also given you the wisdom to deal with that matter.
This is one of the many reasons why it is more difficult for a rich man to enter heaven, than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.(8)
WHAT ABOUT REQUESTS FOR MONEY ?
God’s workers are constantly in need of money and are always pleading for us to give, give, give.
Sometimes it seems that we are inundated with requests. Many of which are very persuasive, filling us with guilt if we fail to respond.
The problem we have with this situation is, are they just very persuasive, like any good con-man, or is this God’s spirit convicting us to support His needs?
First, the Bible tells us that His Spirit will not mislead us (9), secondly, if we already are paying God our tithes and periodically are making gift offerings, we are in a very good position to start with. If you feel led to make a donation (remember, you have already paid your tithes, haven’t you?) then it is an offering.
Two things will happen, first, you cannot out give God, therefore He will return your gift to you, magnified. Secondly, He will provide what you need in your life. (10) God’s people do not have to beg, and giving to God will not put you in the position of having to beg. If He wants you to give, then His Spirit will also let you know how much.
I won’t dwell on this any further, as offerings are personal and sacrificial in nature, and we are discussing tithing here.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT TITHE ?
Failure to return God’s money to Him has consequences.
After all, it is His money and if you are in possession of someone else’s money, without their permission, you have stolen it.
God tells us that if we will pay our tithes He will rebuke the devourer for our sakes. (11)
The devourer is Satan. If we fail to return to God His share, He then grants Satan permission to collect the tithe. As a wise man once said to me, Satan not only takes his share, but he takes a little ‘hide and hair’ also.
The share that Satan takes does not necessarily have to be money. It can be health, happiness, joy, relationships etc. It might even be the life of a loved one. Remember the hide and hair part.
Satan has no use for your money, his sole interest is your soul. He uses his position of power over you (12) to destroy your faith in God.
He causes bad things happen to you or to your loved ones, then attempts to convince you it is God’s fault. Either that God actually did the dirty deed, or that He failed to protect you from the bad situation.
Other than convincing people that God or Christ does not exist (or are powerless or just don‘t care), this is Satan’s most effective tool in separating us from God.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO TITHE ?
The best response to this question is to directly quote God’s promise.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Satan will continuously strive to convince you that you cannot afford to tithe. He will try to get you to delay the payment until this or that need or emergency is over.
Once you start procrastinating, it turns into a roaring river of failure.
The emergencies never stop and the needs just keep snowballing, PLUS Satan still gets to collect the tithe, hide and hair.
Pay God first and He will take care of the emergency and provide for the need, PLUS He will bless you and rebuke Satan for your sake.
One of the most valuable lessons God’s work has to teach us, is the importance of tithing. Those who learn this lesson and abide by it, will have a rewarding and productive life.
Tithing is a win-win situation, failure to tithe is just the opposite.
I urge you to “pay God first” and let Him prove His word.
1)re: Melchezideck: Gen 14: 18-20
2)re: a Tenth: Lev 27:32 and Heb 7-2
3)re: First Fruits: Neh 11:35-36
4)re: His First Fruits: St. John 3:16
5)re: stealing from God: Mal 3:8-11
6)re: Storehouse: Mal 3:10
7)re: workman worthy: Luke 10:7 and 2 Tim 2:18
8)re: eye of the needle:
9)re: Spirit will not mislead:
10)re: God's provision of needs:
11)Re:Devourer: Mal 3:11
12) Re: Satan's authority: See "The Story of Man" on this site.